This picture is raw. It is pure. It is not a depiction from a movie. It shows the unfiltered and palpable depth of caring, concern, compassion and love that we are capable of and should show and share with one another with or without a disaster as a backdrop. This is humanity at its best in the worst of times.
When I first saw this picture I was under the impression that the man pictured was his teacher due to this posting on the NBC 12 Facebook page:
As it turns out they are neighbors and have nicknamed each other Big Dog and Little Dog, respectively.
The person who enabled this deeply moving moment to be captured was Little Dog’s teacher. The fact that s/he is not pictured here makes the situation even more poignant as their contribution and heroism is unheralded which is indicative to the nature of their work. The 1st responders to our children who are of school age are our teachers. They have been on the frontline of a social, cultural, religious, political and economic war that has decimated their ranks, stolen their pride, burned them out and lowered their esteem which is painfully reflected in their salaries, their prospects and how they are treated.
Time and time again, we have seen or heard of teachers who have not only dedicated their time and resources to helping their most vulnerable and needy students as shown in A Place at the Table, but they put their lives on the line as the last defenders against gunmen and natural disasters as demonstrated at Sandy Hook Elementary and in Moore, Oklahoma. And Little Dog’s teacher, who was his last defender against a force for which there is no match, has given him, Big Dog and us the opportunity to see mankind at its best.
To Little Dog’s teacher and school staff at Plaza Towers Elementary School as well as all schools in Moore, Oklahoma and throughout the nation: Thank you so very much whoever you are.